As 2019 descends

A brand new year is upon us.  As 2018 fades away, 2019 descends with an ever-evolving set of challenges.  The political landscape has changed, and in only a few days, Congress will welcome in a host of freshmen legislators and a House controlled by the Democrats. With that, we can expect to see much more scrutiny and opposition towards President Trump and his administration. Subsequently, it is vital for the Trump administration to take a detailed take a look at the events of the last two years and make some crucial adjustments.  The left has proven repeatedly that they’re going to not cease in their quest to impeach Trump or at the very least thwart his re-election.  That in mind, there’s things that may be done to derail these efforts and in doing so, continue Making America  Great Again.  So, in no specific order, I’ve listed some items much in need of consideration.

It is no secret that the press has been relentless of their criticism of every decision the President makes. It is time this criticism be put to constructive use.  The President has, in some ways, been his personal worst enemy on this regard.  While I absolutely understand that the horrible treatment Trump experiences by the media is cause to make anybody mad as hell, I also think he cannot afford to feed into it.  Continually antagonizing an already adversarial media only enflames a bad situation.

The unavoidable backlash to this endless war between the Press Corp and the White House is an countless stream of unfavorable press that utterly eclipses anything constructive, and prevents him from gaining any foothold politically.  It would be helpful to use the trending critiques to “map the middle efield” and avoid providing fresh fodder. 

His social media presence likewise is hurting him and making life miserable for his staff.  Trump has an affinity for Twitter, and one only needs to gloss over his feed to see that his feed serves only one purpose: feeding the liberal troll army.   His opposition is a conglomerate of an adversarial press, the Democrats, progressive liberals, and yes, certain members of the Republican Party which might be way more snug with the swamp life and status quo governance than they are with draining that swamp. President Trump frequently makes use of Twitter to poke the opposition and in doing so, exacerbates the hostility.  Even worse, his steady flow of posts regarding the Mueller probe fly in direct opposition to the recommendation given by every lawyer in the country: STFU and let the lawyer do the talking.  President Trump is his personal worst enemy so far as his media presence.  Trump has managed to surround himself with rockstars in hiring Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Rudolph Giuliani. He needs to allow them to do what they do best and make a concerted effort to make these jobs easier. It is better to prevent a fire than extinguish one.

Sooner rather than later, some reassessment of financial goals and policies is will be necessary.  The promise of a 4 percent GDP was fulfilled, and it did certainly present spectacular financial progress. Nonetheless, that growth rate isn’t realistically sustainable and actually must be reassessed. A failure right here may have severe consequences inside the GOP base.

Moreover, it is time to wind down the trade war, and relieve some strain on world commerce. The European and Canadian trade agreements should be negotiated in a even handed style that reinforces age old alliances. The tarriffs were very efficient at bringing the trade imbalances into focus and displaying our seriousness in lowering the huge deficits, however I believe we are venturing into diminished returns which might be negatively impacting the financial system.  The Chinese trade, however,  requires a firm, consistent hand if it is to have any positive outcome.

Immigration: For too a few years, the laissez faire enforcement of Immigration law has resulted in a massive problem at our border.  It is generally accepted that extensive reform of our immigration legislation is necessary. The issue is that the nation is extremely divided on what that reform ought to be. The left desires far much less restrictive immigration, whereas conservatives demand tighter controls. The last immigration legislation passed through Congress in 1994, and that package was never fully appropriated or applied, and the outcomes have been disasterous.

The present trend of patchwork quilt policy and stopgap orders for border enforcement have not helped fix the problem. The steady stream of illegal immigrants continue to flood the borders, and to date, any meaningful attempt to slow that wave have been nitro glycerine politically.   It would be in our best interest to request Congress establish a bipartisan committee charged with drafting a reform package we as a country can accept.  The calls to “build the wall” have certainly been a sounding board for the conservative base, nevertheless the fine details have been few and far between. We have to see some well defined plans concerning the edification of the border if the House is to appropriate monies. Leveraging by means of Government shutdown is a grandstanding move that is tantamount to a highstakes game of chicken  we cannot  afford to play right now.  Trump lacks the political capital to make it work.  The inescapable result is an additional escalation in tensions between the Democrat controlled Housee and an embattled Administration.  The only losers are the government employees not getting a paycheck.

Spending reduction: The decades long war(s) within the Middle East and Asia have cost america in excess of three trillion dollars , and the tally escalates at a rate of about 15  billion per year.   This says nothing of the human value.  Withdrawal and de-escalation is long overdue, and a much needed step in cutting our spending.

Equally essential to reducing the war expense, we have to take a take a long, hard look at the assets leaving shores in international aid. It’s ludicrous that we might contemplate reducing domestic aid programs like Social Safety, Medicare, or VA funding with out first reducing aid to foreign countries.   That is what America First is all about.  The habit of eyeballing Social Safety like a ravenous man eyes a T-Bone, essentially using at will to monetize other programs needs to stop, and the original  protections fot Social Security against reallocation should be reinstituted. Social Safety has been used as a rainy day fund for far too long and the result has jeopardized the plan for individuals who have worked their entire lives paying into it.

Saudi Arabia: We have to make a extra definitive statement concerning the Sauds. Their history of human rights abuses can’t be denied or ignored, and while no, I don’t really feel it is America’s place to deal with it, it does behoove us to handle with the Saudi kingdom the no differently than we do any another abusive regime.  Pull our financial and military assistance.   We shouldn’t be rewarding the horrible acts of inhumanity with trade deals.  It is hypocritical to ignore atrocities from the Sauds while combating an extended war with Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria for comparable offenses.

Additionally, it might be advantageous to hold the UN feet to the fire in enforcing the treaties intended to  to prevent such abuses. That Saudi Arabia sits on the UN Human Rights council isn’t only laughable, it reinforces the rationale behind the US withdrawal from the council.  The Trump White House took considerable criticism for this bold move, and missed an opportunity  in not pointing out this irony when the Khashoggi incident happened.  It is time the UN step up and do what it is chartered to do.

I am certainly no liberal, and I’m generally happy with the progress made since 2016. That being said, I do not  drink the koolaid entirely. There is always room to improve, and to blindly ignore these opportunities to improve is stupid. I offer these suggestions not in criticism of the President, quite the opposite. They’re meant to be constructive options in hopes that the administration begins to “assist in it’s own defense” and cease the availability of political ammunition to the Left while reassuring the base and securing the moderates. Make no mistake, the Trump Presidency in very real jeopardy, and safeguarding the successes is reliant upon recognizing and correcting the failures before the damage is unfixable.